Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sunday style


My my, it has been quite a while since I brought you a Sunday style! I have one for you today though :) As I mentioned in a previous post I had designed and started making an A line dress (from scratch, making my own pattern etc.) from a shirt and skirt I picked up in the costume store sale. Today we had family friends over so I made sure I got it all done ready to be worn and shown off! Lol :P

Here is it just flat:

Here are some of the details up close:

Folding back the  corners of the pocket flaps was my dad's idea and then I thought I could do the same with the collar and add little buttons to tie everything on :)

If you had forgotten the pieces I got the fabric from here they are:

Here is me wearing The dress:

I am really pleased with how it came out as it fits me really well, as it should because I made it to my measurements :P and it nice and airy for summer.  The colours also go with the colour of my hair too I think- if I am going to indulge myself and be really vain, lol! I will stop now and compliment you all- You all look beautiful today :D xxx

I am off to go and relax now. I have eaten a lot of my dad's delicious food today so need to sit and let it all go down- warm chocolate peanut butter ice cream sundae sauce and brownies is all  that needs to be said! :P

Before I go though I do want to say thank you to everyone who has looked at my new etsy shop. My viewings are increasing which is lovely :-) Also I have a special tutorial coming soon that I have made for you all so keep your eyes peeled! 

See you soon,
Bye xoxoxo

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A big post- with lots of cakes :oP


Today, as mentioned in the title I bring you a rather large post!
The first thing I have to tell you about is my visit to the Fashion and textile museum in London :) I went there for a day course on couture sewing techniques, the price for which included a ticket to their current exhibition of Mexican Rebozos (Mexican rectangular shawl like garments).
The sewing room the course took place in was really nice, and I learnt a lot of cool tricks and tips too:

Then at the end of the day I had a wander around the exhibition, here is a really cool Rebozo knitted by Kaffe Fassett:
Here is a suit made from Rebozos- the cut is really sharp:

This dress is also made from a Rebozo- it is so wacky! :P:

Haha. This little dude was appliqued onto one of the shawls- I love him because he is wacky too!:

This painting is the last picture I have to show you from the exhibition, it was so cool, the canvas is cut away at the loom part so there is a real loom stocking out of the painting, it makes it 3D and makes the painting really come to life:

I really must learn more about weaving- the loom fascinated me, trying to work out how all the patterns in the cloth were being created :)
Now I am finished telling you about the Mexican shawls I shall move onto another culture- African culture, with a quick picture of the African dress I was helping Stephanie put little bits together of when I went to my Work experience on Monday:

The mannequin is slightly to small for this dress really so it doesn't quite show it off to it's full potential but it still does give you some idea of Stephanie's flair for design (and making!). The dress is so vibrant, I love helping Stephanie with her dresses as I love learning more about more traditional/popular African styles, they are so different to what I normally see/wear so they are really inspiring to me :-) My fascination with different cultures styles is also why I visit the Asian wedding fair as well as the UK wedding fair- that way I can see the different aspects specific to different cultures but also how on many levels they intertwine and mix and influence each other. I need there to be an African wedding fair too!

You are probably all thinking by now 'where's the cakes? the tile says there is lots of cake!', well don't fret as it is on it's way now :P
First up are these double chocolate chip peanut butter cookie cupcakes, I made them as dessert (as part of the American themed dinner party I cooked) for when my nan came round on Friday:

They were peanut butter choc chip sponge with cookie dough frosting and chocolate chips and a cookie to decorate :) They went down really well, my dad liked them especially!
After I made those and they went down so well I kind of had the cupcake bug (I've had it for a while now- after doing the TWO cupcake tours :-P). I decided to make some more today, these ones were even more decadent:

Peanut butter, choc chip cookie dough AND caramel cupcakes!: Peanut butter chocolate chip sponge and cookie dough frosting again but this time with a cookie baked at the bottom and a caramel filling too. I reallly liked these ones (though they are super sweet).
And because one variety is never enough is it? :P I also made these bounty ones:

Desiccated coconut and milk choc chip sponge, with half a bounty bar baked in the middle. Then coconut milk frosting, half a bounty and a sprinkling of desiccated coconut to top! I haven't tried one of these yet, that is on the menu for tomorrow. My mum said they were good though and my brothers eyes lit up when he was eating it so I should like them :0)
I may make making cup cakes my new hobby on the side as I enjoy it and people have expressed to me it is not healthy to think about/read about/practise/learn about sewing, costuming, pattern making etc... 24/7, lol. That will still of course take up most of my time as I couldn't bear to let it not!
For example, today I continued working on the dress I am making myself from the HUGE mens shirt I got from the costume store sale (remember? :). I unpicked it so I could basically just use it as fabric then drew up a pattern for a 60's inspired a line dress, here it is so far:

It is going to have some decorative pocket flaps and a collar in a matching colour scheme tartan style fabric from a skirt I got in the Costume sale- I will probably get those on it tomorrow- then It will be done. I did the bias binding on the armholes in the sink stitching method I got extra tips on at my couture course on Saturday :o) I have always found it tricky but now I have got techniques to make it not so hard and with practise I will get really neat at it! I want to have it done for Sunday when we are having family friends over for dinner.
Work has also started on my mums dress:

Quite a bit more hand sewing to go but I am getting there slowly. You have to do it a bit at a time though as I find I have to have the dress hung up as shown whilst sewing to check nothing pulls and that the edges of the panel are going on straight, but it makes your arm ache :0P
Phew, that was a long post! But hopefully an interesting one, or possibly just to much of me waffling :P
I will let you go now, but not before telling you to have a look at all the new headbands in my shop:  (with more coming soon!), for example, ice creamssss!!!:
They are inspired by my work experience at Queenie and Teds, the whole Idea of collage like, fun, applique/decoration :)
Hehe, now I will officially let you go!
Speak to you again soon, I hope you are all well,
Bye XxXxXxX

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Saving my mum's vintage dress

Today I bring to you my latest project....
A while ago now, when me and my family were on holiday in the IOW my mum bought this beautiful original 1930/40s dress in a vintage shop:
It fit her really well and looked nice however, when we got it home we realised it had some quite bad watermarks/staining on it :( They hadn't shown up in the shop (we hadn't been lied to, just nobody had noticed them), but are clearly visible in daylight:

My mum was really disappointed and hasn't been able to wear the dress due to the visible staining on the bodice and the main stain (pictured above) on the skirt. My mum tried getting it dry cleaned- they tried their best but nothing could be done :-( Again I was sad because my mum really liked the dress and it cost her £125; though this is not extortionate, it is still quite expensive, and definitely is an amount you want to get some enjoyment from.
My mum stashed the dress in the wardrobe, then yesterday we were watching a programme on TV called 'This old thing' which was all about vintage clothing and refashioning it. We decided to get the dress out and give it one last attempt to try to make it wearable. I looked at it, assessed it, thought about hard etc... and then I came up with this idea:

A central panel of matching colour scheme purple crepe type fabric (fabric from one of the bargains I got in the costume store!). My mum thought that sounded good as she wanted to preserve the dress (so not cut into it) but also to cover all the stains on the bodice and skirt of course- and the panel can do both! Also I knew I had to come up with a solution that was fairly simple in style so as not to overpower the rest of the details on the dress or make it look 'too much'. The simple, clean shape of the panel should be perfect.
I started work on it today- I have got the shape tacked onto the dress and the bodice and skirt panels cut out and ready to be seamed together- I will work more on it tomorrow and will of course bring you lots of pictures when the transformation is complete. I really hope it looks gorgeous and I know it would make my mum really happy if she did love it and could wear it- she had kind of written it off after the dry cleaning didn't really work out. I have made it my mission to SAVE MY MUMS DRESS!!!! :0)
Hehe, I have also got some alterations I am working on for my next door neighbour too, I need to finish those of tomorrow as well- I will be a busy bee! But in-between I can relax with dad and brother who have both happened to have the day of work/school and we are getting subways, a mcflurry and playing tennis at the park. So that will be nice. I had a good day today as well- me and my mum saw the importance of being earnest at the theatre and had cupcakes from Sweet couture. Mmmmm... I am craving another one now!
Lol, I better get off to bed ready for my busy day tomorrow,
Speak to you all again soon,
Bye XxXxXx

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

My amazing day at Queenie and Teds!

As I mentioned in my last post, today was the day I got to go and do some work experience with the cool clothing up-cyclers; Queenie and Ted. I had such an amazing time and learnt so much! :) They said I could bring something along and that they would teach me how to put some designs chosen by me onto my item.
I had a rummage in my wardrobe prior to today and found this velvet blazer I got a while ago, I did like it and had worn it before but I did think it could do with a bit of a jazz up: 
After today with the lovely ladies of Queenie and Ted (Kally and Linda :) my jacket has been totally transformed, look!:

The design I did on the back is inspired by the recent trips with my dad to the garden centres to buy flowers for our garden :)

The bunny fabric was so amazingly sweet- I knew I had to use it. Kally and Linda said they picked it up when they were in Japan showing their work over there :-)

Hehe, I don't think I need to explain why I put the scissors on there! :P
I am sooo happy with it, it looks so much better now, and as I said I learnt so much, so thank you Linda and Kally. Probably the best thing is that they said I can come and do another day (helping them with some of their stuff then, now that I have had some practice :).
Also.... they have a cabinet in their shop where they put accessories that other makers/artisans have made and they said that I could showcase some of my knitted brooches in there. I was extremely excited, having my work in a street shop, next to other makers work :D
Here are all the brooches that are now in their cabinet:

Fingers crossed some of them sell as that means; 1. someone liked my brooch enough to buy it and will wear it around, Yay! and 2. Some money for me and Kally and Linda :)
Can you tell I have had a good day...? Lol, I think you probably can :P
I hope all you people have had a good day as well- you are all so lovely so you definitely deserve it!
I better be off to bed now, so I am all ready to get up and do lots of making tomorrow now I have all new ideas after my day today. I also have lots more ideas for items I want to make for my shop too, including some more bracelets in the style of the 'Love' one I recently put up:

See you soon,
Bye XxXxXxX

Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Hi everyone,
I have two bits of news, and then some pretty pictures of my half scale kimono!

Firstly- I AM NOW ON ETSY!
Yes, I have finally set up my new shop with some new bits (Including one of my lace bridal headbands). I spoke to people and the general consensus was mainly that people seemed to know their way around Etsy a bit easier so after all my Folksy item listings expired I started setting up my Etsy shop.
Please do drop if you get time as I still have some more new items to add over the next few days and would really like peoples feedback :-)
Secondly- Today I had a mini interview type thing with Queenie and Ted (see their website they do some really cool up-cycling of clothing!!!: here!) and..... I get to go back on Wednesday next week and work with them and learn all about what they do :D I am sooo excited, it will be a great bit of experience! I will make sure to show you all what I get up to next Wednesday using lots of juicy pictures :P
Hehe, now I am done with all my news I will show you the pictures of my kimono, my first project I did at uni, which I got back in the last week of term and have now completely finished up:

I made it so that it was pretty much reversible using my colour scheme, here is the 2nd option:

I am really proud of it. It is nice to have it all done to show people (like all of you lovely people).
I hope you are all having a lovely week- and if you have any news please do leave a comment below, I would love to hear :D
Speak to you all again soon,
Bye XxXxXx

Friday, 20 June 2014

Finished.... but only just getting started... :P

Today was officially my last day of college for the year, though I actually didn't have to come in really because I got all my work handed in yesterday :0)

So now I can bring you the final photos from my Line and form project (the collaboration with a designer) that I have been mentioning in my last few posts.
I kindly got permission from my designer to put up a picture of her design for court costume of the Duchess of Malfi (for a contemporary staging of the Duchess of Malfi):
(Copyright of my designer Sarah!)
I concentrated on making the jacket in the design, and now you can see what I was going from here is my final realised garment: 


It is fully lined, but is made in calico- really I would make it in wool worsted, but that was a bit expensive for this project when I needed 4m of it! And calico was still a suitable weight.
I am really proud of it and I learnt so many things from it- like how to construct a notched collar, and fully line the jacket with fairly little hand sewing (the industry method). It fitted my model really well too (she wanted to take it home :-P) so I was pleased!
This week, as well as finishing my jacket, I picked up some really great bargains at the big costume store sale at college. They had a clear out and all the money raised is going towards re-stocking the store. I got all of these clothing items for only £5!!!!!:

So that is 50p each!!! My aim is to use the fabric or adapt each of them over my summer break to make some cool stuff :) Though I may end up just wearing some of the pieces as I might not have the heart to cut into them- especially the big purple mens coat; it has a label in it saying 'Nathans and Burmans' (a famous costume house), and 'Return to OZ' so it may have been in the film- I will have to watch and see! Hehe, that will give me a bit of excitement :P
I better get off to bed now though as I am working at the Bridal Boutique tomorrow and as tomorrow is the first official day of my summer holidays my summer plan (lots of reading about sewing and fashion and costume, sewing and designing, going on courses and doing work experience- in between going on holiday with my family :P) can begin! So though I am finished for the year, I am only really just starting as I have so much to learn and practise in summer :)
See you all soon, and I will keep you all regularly updated :-)
I hope you are well,
Bye xXxXxXxXxXxXxX